New music school opens thanks to business and community support

By Anita Jaynes on 18 November, 2015

A new music school is opening in the village of Tisbury thanks to the support of local residents and trade businesses.

Mark James, a private singing teacher since 2013, has quickly out grown teaching from the house that he shares with Amy his partner and their five children. Making the decision to move out of his home and into new premises Mark decided to widen the range of musical services that he could offer.

“Rural areas don’t tend to have the same opportunities that large towns and cities have for arts and musical projects” explained Mark. “I wanted to be able to create these opportunities. I thought that by opening a music school and inviting other musicians to teach will create a great resource for the local community and surrounding areas.”

After an extensive search new premises were found on the new business estate on Wyndham Park, Tisbury. Mark said: “Finding the right location meant that the building that we were going to use as the school started out as a shell. In other words, we had to actually build the inside to create specialist sound proof teaching rooms, reception areas and a fitted kitchen.”

Following a rigorous planning process, the application to Wiltshire Council was supported by 45 people from Tisbury and surrounding areas as well as the local Tisbury Business Association and Parish Council.

Backing was also given by the small business charity Fredericks Foundation, who not only granted a small business loan but also supplied a mentor to help with the business development too.

To save costs Mark took the decision to carry out all of the building works himself.  Mark said: “The biggest building project I had ever undertaken before was an Ikea self assembly table, so to attempt any thing on this scale was going to be a challenge. However I was really shocked at the help that I received in the form of training from local trades people. Each week I seemed to have someone new come to the school to show me how to erect a wall, plaster or how to complete a difficult task. The only thing I wasn’t able to do myself was the electrics but again a local electrician donated his time to help.”

Even members of the local community choir that Mark runs came up to help with the plumbing. Not to mention the work by Nigel Maidment, Mark’s father-in-law who has been on site almost everyday.

Mark continued: “JNX Productions has always been about community projects, but never in a million years did I expect the help of so many people from the community to get this music school up and running.”

Now after six weeks of building, JNX Productions: Music School is ready to open. On Monday 23 November at 10:30am the school will have the help of local school children of St John Primary School to officially open it by cutting the ribbon.

“I want to invite everyone that is interested in music, to come along and help us celebrate the opening of the school,” said Mark. “You will be able to meet some of our teachers, see the music rooms and also enjoy a hot drink. For those that are at work that day we will also be opening between 6-7pm on the same day to allow people look around and maybe have a glass of something a little redder.”

A video diary of the work can be seen on JNX Productions: Music School website as well as the Facebook page. Work will now continue at the school as Mark builds phase 2 of the project upstairs, a rehearsal space for bands and performance groups. This should be open in the early part of 2016.

Pictured above: Mark James founder of JNX Productions: Music School